Tag Archives: romance

Review of Stranded with the Navy SEAL (Team Twelve #1), by Susan Cliff

I won a paperback copy of Stranded with the Navy Seal, by Susan Cliff.

Description from Goodreads:

For one navy SEAL, danger and passion are brewing in paradise 

Working on a cruise ship was supposed to be the perfect distraction for chef Cady Crenshaw. Instead, it made her the perfect target. Abducted and thrown overboard into foreign waters, she has only one shot at survival…and it comes at the hands of an irresistible ally. 

Navy SEAL Logan Starke’s protective instincts were locked and loaded the moment he met Cady at the ship’s bar. When a violent struggle to take down her captors leaves Logan and Cady stranded on a deserted island, he leaps into rescue mode. But the hot sand and the even hotter attraction between them can’t be denied…and temptation could be the deadliest threat yet.

Review:

I’m going to add a proviso before I review this book. I enjoy romance novels. However, I generally need romance AND something else. I like fantasy romance, sci-fi romance, regency or historical romance (sometimes). But standard contemporary romances usually bore me. And while this is listed an romantic suspense, and there is quite a lot dedicated to surviving on a deserted island, it’s still basically just a contemporary romance. For 99.9999999% of the book there are only the two characters and the end goal is still the couple falling in love, accepting each other, getting married and having babies. (Must not forget the babies.) It’s all very formulaic and not my jam.

I say all this so that those who truly enjoy contemporary romance can take my limp review with the grain of salt it deserves. I read this book because I won it and wanted to honor the gift with a review. I wouldn’t have picked the book up otherwise.

Having said all that, I thought this book was fine. Cliff presented some realistic challenges to surviving on a deserted island, gave both characters some mild past trauma that effects their beliefs and behaviors, and both characters were likable. He wasn’t an alpha a-hole and she wasn’t there just to be saved (even if she was saved a lot). The sex was hot, but not gratuitous and both characters respected each other for and during it. For a book without the genre garnish I usually prefer, I can’t complain.

Review of My Once and Future Duke (The Wagers of Sin #1), by Caroline Linden

I won a copy of Caroline Linden‘s My Once and Future Duke through Goodreads.

Description:

What happens at the infamous Vega Club . . . 

Sophie Campbell is determined to be mistress of her own fate. Surviving on her skill at cards, she never risks what she can’t afford to lose. Yet when the Duke of Ware proposes a scandalous wager that’s too extravagant to refuse, she can’t resist. If she wins, she’ll get five thousand pounds, enough to secure her independence forever.

Stays at the Vega Club . . . 

Jack Lindeville, Duke of Ware, tells himself he’s at the Vega Club merely to save his reckless brother from losing everything, but he knows it’s a lie. He can’t keep his eyes off Sophie, and to get her he breaks his ironclad rule against gambling. If he wins, he wants her–for a week.

Until now. 

A week with Jack could ruin what’s left of Sophie’s reputation. It might even cost her her heart. But when it comes to love, all bets are off . . .

Review:

Having just finished My One and Only Duke, I figured I might as well stick with the ducal theme and read My Once and Future Duke next. When I cross-posted to Amazon/Goodreads, I gave both books three stars. But this is a good example of how inadequate that middle rating can be, because I like My One and Only Duke a lot more than My Once and Future Duke. There was simply more meat to it. But neither was good enough for a 4-star or bad enough for a 2-star.

I thought this book was perfectly adequate. The writing was sound and the characters unobjectionable. But it was a fairly one-dimensional story, focusing quite heavily on sex. Which is fine. I’m not complaining on that front. But I was a tad bored with the book, on the whole. All in all, this is one of those books you finish and go, “Meh.” It wasn’t great or horrid, but it passed the time pleasantly enough.

Review of My One and Only Duke (Rogues to Riches #1), by Grace Burrowes

I won a paperback copy of Grace BurrowesMy One and Only Duke through Goodreads.

Description:

A funny thing happened on the way to the gallows…
One minute, London banker Quinn Wentworth is facing execution. The next, he’s declared the long-lost heir to a dukedom. Quinn has fought his way up from the vilest slums, and now he’s ready to use every dirty trick he knows to find the enemy who schemed against him.

There was just one tiny problem…
Jane Winston, the widowed, pregnant daughter of a meddlesome prison preacher, crosses paths with Quinn in jail. Believing his days are numbered, Quinn offers Jane marriage as a way to guarantee her independence and provide for her child. Neither thinks they’ll actually have a future together.

They were wrong.
He’s a wealthy gutter rat out for vengeance. She’s a minister’s daughter who must turn a marriage of desperation into a proper ducal union. Are they doomed from the start or destined for a happily-ever-after? 

Review:

This isn’t at all bad. It is, in fact, very sweet. But there is almost no tension in the whole book and the mystery is definitely a sub-plot. The real story is two very different people, who didn’t expect to be thrown together, getting to know one another and falling in love. I liked Burrowes’ writing style though and didn’t dislike either of the main characters, so I would be glad to read more. 

As for the bonus short story by Elizabeth Hoyt (Once Upon a Christmas Eve), I didn’t like it at all. I suspect Hoyt just isn’t for me. Watching women fall in love with men who are basically dicks to them and hearing their sob stories infuriates me.